Take Your Writing Seriously, But Never Yourself…
“Take your work/writing seriously, but never yourself” is an ethic I have applied to virtually every project or cause I have committed myself to. It is a principle that can take you very far if you are on a successful streak, or pick you up if you are feeling low or defeated just as easily.
You see, the benefit of applying the ethic of not taking yourself too seriously is twofold:
If you are having a relative amount of success, the only enemy that can take the wind out of your sails is …you guessed it – yourself. If you can take yourself out of this equation, or attempt to minimize yourself as much as possible, this hurdle will become almost non-existent.
If you are experiencing a low or have been defeated, taking yourself out of the equation can minimize the impact that this can have your self-confidence. How can something affect your self-confidence, if the “self” is already taken out?
If I have had success in a given field or endeavor, it was almost always thanks to applying the principle above. If I have had a defeat and was quick to bounce back, this same principle was what contributed to getting back on my feet in a speedy manner.
Let’s say I tackle a new project, in this case a writing goal. Now let’s suppose that my audience didn’t receive it well or outright rejected it. If I am hinging my confidence on “me”, then I am going to suffer the subsequent backlash as well. If in the best case scenario my audience receives my writing project well, my confidence will only receive a temporary boost. This is because if my confidence hinges on approval, it is no foundation at all.
(Needless to say: This principle shouldn’t be applied into any extremes of delusion either. Third party perspective is important to become a healthy and balanced individual with a realistic outlook on him/herself and their abilities and talents…)
The key here, is to take pride in somebody else’s work – your hero’s, your influences, a set of truths you believe in, a cause, or anything else that you genuinely believe to be “great” and good for humanity. If it is received well, then you are in good company and can take pride in your taste. If it is received badly, then it is no skin off of your back.
A writer deals with the realm of Ether. Like the air we breathe, it is invisible, but surrounds us. As a writer, we need to become similar to this set of characteristics. We need to remove the “weight” of the “I”, and let the subject matter take center stage.
This is a principle that you can employ immediately if you wish. The next time you are writing, try taking a quote from somebody you admire that has already spoken to the topic you wish to address, and then simply add your commentary on it or add your own flavor and perspective to it.
Did you notice the subtle difference?
If employed correctly, you will experience an immediate boost of confidence to your writing ability. This happens simply because “you” are no longer the one on the stage. Your idea or your heroin is the one on the stage. “You” are no longer vulnerable to the critic, whether literal or within yourself.
If you represented your cause or your heroin well, then you can pat yourself on the back! If you failed to do so, then oh well – it is no skin off of your back personally.
If I tell 1 joke from my favorite comedian well, then my favorite comedian gets the credit for being “funny”. If I tell a thousand jokes from multiple funny comedians, then I become “funny”.
– JC ❤ –